Heart Warming Minestrone

As much as I have fallen in love with the French array of pre-made soups which come in box form and feed a good six people with delicious heartiness, I was in the mood for a homemade soup. Smelling the soup cooking and stewing away and feeling the warmth fill the apartment as the snow falls outside; there is nothing like it. I was also very much in the mood for Minestrone, which is the perfect winter soup with its filling beans, al dente pasta, and the incredibly winter-necessary tomato base. Not only that, but it’s a one-pot soup which just needs the ingredients prepped then thrown in to stew on their own – easy peasy. It was a perfect meal to make while watching the Inauguration on live streaming. Gotta be thankful for the internet when far away from home and history is happening!!

Another note, I did not have my recipe with me in the grocery store so I just grabbed what sounded good, making my own version. A good Italian would probably not consider this a Minestrone, so let’s call it an Alsatian one. ; )

Ingredients: (Makes 4 – 5 servings)
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2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
4 vine tomatoes, diced
1/8 cup tomato paste
1 liter veggie broth (two vegetable bouillon cubes and a liter of hot water)
1 can of kidney beans, drained
1 can of white beans, with liquid
2/3 cup pasta
2 large shallots, sliced
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried sage
Fresh basil and parsley, chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:
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1. Heat up the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and throw in the garlic and shallots. Cook until transparent, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, carrots, and the veggie broth and bring to a boil then simmer for 30 to 40 minutes until the carrots are tender.
3. Throw in the beans, pasta, and all of the spices (fresh and dried) and simmer for another 20 minutes or so.
4. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve right away. Garnish with some parmesan cheese (or Gruyere if you’re in France) and serve with some nice crusty bread slathered in salted butter.

By the first spoonful you will start to feel the winter blues melting away…Mmm mmm, homemade goodness.20130127-221346.jpg

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